What do doormats and Newcastle United fans seemingly have in common? It’s not a hard question, but the answer produces a lump in the throat and a furious reaction. Do we want to change this image of ourselves or remain the proverbial doormats of English football?
How do we go about changing our reputation, reclaiming our dignity and show the football world, and ourselves, that we will no longer accept mediocrity as our bread and butter? I am so glad you asked. Unless you have been living under a rock recently, you will know that there is a march for ambition on Saturday morning 19th October at 10:30am. The march is aimed at promoting what is positive about Newcastle United. its fans and the city as a whole by peacefully showing our displeasure at the direction that Mike Ashley is taking the club in.
It has been widely reported over a number of media outlets, both regionally and nationally, and as such a good turn out is expected. What do I mean by good turn out? Well the organisers of the march claim that they expect a turnout of around 1000 people. 1000 people taking to the street, voting with their feet and saying enough is enough through a peaceful demonstration is quite a platform to build upon.
However, while I was reading the Chronicle the other day I noticed something rather offensive. Newcastle United have a tendency to be very arrogant and disregard Newcastle fans, which has been seen over the years with some of Mike Ashley’s ludicrous decisions. Here is a snippet of the article I was reading the other day, written by the highly regarded Neil Cameron,
The organisers of this Saturday’s Time 4 Change march against the Mike Ashley regime are hopeful of at least 1,000 people turning up.
Someone inside the club I spoke to last week believes they will be lucky to get 100. Others suggest somewhere in-between.
Lucky to get 100? Are they being serious? Is this how arrogant the club is regarding the fans? Is this how little they think the fans care about our club? The club is laying down a gauntlet, claiming that our fans are not interested enough to even march for ambition. The club is sending out a challenge to you. Will you do what they expect of you and sit at home, or sit in the pub? Or will you join your fellow fans and prove the doubters wrong? Don’t let your fellow fans suffer because of your apathy. Don’t let the sizeable media presence report that Newcastle fans don’t care about their club and would rather sit in the pub. Don’t let Ashley roll out a PR spun story of how a poor turnout at a demonstration is indicative of how many people are happy with the way he runs the club.
I have been informed that there will be a silent protest when the march makes its way past the stadium in the form of a white hankie protest. Fans are being asked to bring with them white hankies, tissue paper or serviettes so they can wave them as they walk past the club as a symbolic gesture that we the fans are calling time on Ashley reign at the club. This silent form of protest will carry on into the ground, and will be very eye-catching and a great way of capturing the attention of the television cameras.
Just my own personal added thought is that while emotions may be running high, I personally would hate to hear choruses of “Fat Cockney B*****d” as the march proceeds through the city. I know many fans who are hesitant about joining the march would not want to join in any fan movement if there is a seemingly hooligan aspect to it. It is important that we act in a respectful dignified way. I have faith that every single fan who attends the march will act in such a fashion, but we do not want to see a vocal minority ruining any momentum we could gain from this dignified, peaceful protest.
Your city needs you. Your fellow fans need you. Your football club needs you. Will you answer the call?